Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week 12 February 21, 2016- I think I see Spring

Welcome to the fully functioning winter garden picture contest.
         The poll came back to life, as many of you know, on Wednesday morning. Many were able to vote for both weeks 10 and 11, after that happened. As I said before I counted any email/comment votes in addition to the shortened polls for these two weeks.
         While it was frustrating to be without the poll,  I enjoyed the additional emails and comments that you sent in while there was no poll. I really do enjoy hearing from all of you, particularly those who I have not heard from for a while.          Before I announce the winners for both of the last two weeks let me go on a little about spring.

         It is still February. Remember that. We still have the girls state basketball tournament in a few weeks, which, according to Iowa lore, is when the last blizzard will hit. That will be the weekend of March 4-6. Still, when I got up yesterday morning (Saturday) at 6 (I slept in), there was light in the eastern sky. We are up to 10 hours and 50 minutes of sunlight in Iowa City. The few inches of snow we had on the ground all disappeared on Friday, when it was a sunny day with the temperatures getting almost to 60 degrees. Of course that was also the wind speed at times, which was very strange.  Walking was actually difficult at lunch, when we turned a corner into the wind.
         There was yard work yesterday (Saturday). There were many sticks to pick up after all that wind. It was just about the first yard work since the end of December. Seven (7) weeks of not being in the garden is very doable.

There are many things stirring right now. Here were pictures:

The little white guys on the left are snowdrops; the little yellow guy on the right is a winter aconite.

The winner of Week 11 was the night blooming cereus. What a marvelous flower.

The Winner of week 11- well it was a tie. I will just let both of them advance. We will just have a final 13.

Here was the full voting, with the write in votes
Week 10 
Bluebells 13
Trillium 8
Winter Aconite  6
Phlox 13

Week 11 
Orchid 6
Crocus 13

Night blooming cereus 16

Here is this week's contest- a group of odds and ends, with no real theme I can discern. 

#1 Margaret Seawright- the Daylily
This little gem is one of my favorite daylilies. I wish I knew who Margaret Seawright was. Did she hybridize this lily? Was she someones mom or neighbor or child? What is there to discover out there on the Internet? Well, I can tell you this daylily has been around since 1985. That was the year of its registration or introduction. That's a long time ago in the world of daylilies. The hybridizer is listed as Stevens-Seawright. Dave's Garden tells me that the flower is the parent of two other named flowers. More research shows  there was a daylily garden in Carlisle, Massachusetts called Bob and Love Seawright Gardens that closed in 2012. Apparently daylilies were a big part of this garden. On the Internet you can find  a Boston Globe story from 2007 about that garden. I assume that Margaret was some relative of the Seawright gardeners.

                                                                #2 Pizzazz, the Lily
This July 12, 2015 picture is an Orienpet, named Pizzazz. I talked a little about Orienpets in Week 7. They are crosses between Oriental lilies and Trumpet lilies. I really like Pizzazz. It has a sister named Sizzle. Please remember I do not make this stuff up. In this picture, the phlox again make a good background. They perform the function of spring bluebells as a background during the summer garden. 
I have a hosta in my garden also named Pizzazz. What do you think is the definition of "pizzazz"? We all would agree that it is something good. The computer tells me the definition is "an attractive combination of vitality and glamour." That works for me. 

#3 Red Hibiscus
How is this for indoor color? The picture is from February 14, 2015. The flower is on a plant that seems to bloom just about this time each winter. It had 2 flowers on Friday of this week. All our hibiscus (yes, I have more than one) spend the summer outside in the semi-shade, where they bloom some. This plant slows down in the fall. It comes inside and takes a while to adjust. I keep it under lights in the dead of winter. (That is now behind us.) It then sets many buds. (I first mis-typed the that last word saying that it sets "bugs". That can sometimes be true too.) It comes upstairs when the Christmas tree goes out. It then blooms for 6 weeks. The activity on that stamen is rather amazing. I will try to find some closeups for the bonus section.

                                                                     #4 Tall Bearded Iris
You have seen my little bearded iris. I have just a few of the tall ones. This one is rather special. I wish I knew the name. It survives without my paying it much attention. It must have a good location, which is in the back by the pond. This picture was taken on May 22. There is a big Sycamore tree in the backyard. It is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring. That gives the backyard decent sun until early June. That works unless you want to bring out plants from the house and need to have shade. If you rush the house-bound plants into the full sun too early, they sunburn. That is not "good eats" as Alton Brown would say.
        Some tall Bearded Iris need staking. Maybe they need staking if there is not quite enough sun, which could be my garden. This iris does not need staking. I do not have much patience for staking except for the taller lilium. With them I just leave the stakes in the ground all year. That marks where the plant will come up in the spring.

That is it for this week's contest. This completes the 12 weeks of contests to get us to the round of 12 or rather 13. That will start next week.

It is bonus picture time.

Let me show you more from the genus lilium.
A few comments:
Not included in these pictures are the Asiatic lilies. They bloom at the beginning of the lilium season.
While the fall is the best time to plant, you can plant lilium bulbs in the spring.
They like sun, but will grow in partial shade. Many of mine come back every year in 1/2 day sun.
The lilium stamen will stain. When you get cut lilium flowers from the florists they cut the ends off. We brought in some Pizzazz flowers this past summer. We cut off the stamens (is that the plural of stamen?). The flowers do last a while, making a good cut flower.
They are fragrant.
The earlier pictures below are trumpet lilies.

June 27, 2015
July 12, 2015
July 15, 2015
July 16, 2015
July 16, 2015
July 18, 2015 Pizzazz inside
Also July 18, 2015 inside
July 24, 2015 Casa Blanca

July 25, 2015 Sumatra

July 26, 2015

How about some more of that great hibiscus.

Pretty good for inside in the winter.

That's it for this week. We have just had early spring for a few days. It is coming. The cardinal's early morning song welcomes the warmer days ahead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I really like Pizzazz. It has a sister named Sizzle. Please remember I do not make this stuff up." :D